The Guardian had a small piece about photographer Idris Khan today. I can’t find that particular piece but here’s a long, more reflective article that they did on him last year. I hadn’t seen his work before but I think it’s wonderful. He scans and layers photographs to produce beautiful blurred, mysterious images that seem to relate as much to drawing as photography.

Idris Khan - every… page of the Holy Koran
Idris Khan: every… page of the Holy Koran, 2004

This image is every page in the Koran scanned and layered. Khan grew up as a Muslim and apparently he made this work to reflect the importance that the Koran had in his childhood. It took him 2 months to make and he followed the correct procedure for handling the Koran whilst making it – I love the implied ritual of that. I think it’s an amazing piece, I particularly love the blackness in the centre of the image. Even though that’s obviously an artefact of the scanning process it makes me think of the mystic void at the heart of spirituality – the ineffable nature of the divine.

Here’s another piece called every… stave of Frederick Chopin’s Nocturnes for the piano.

Idris Khan: every… stave of Frederick Chopin’s Nocturnes for the piano
Idris Khan: every… stave of Frederick Chopin’s Nocturnes for the piano, 2004

When I look at this piece, I get the sense of the number of times it’s been played. It seems to take the ephemeral experience of making or listening to music and fix it in time.

I am an artist & purveyor of obsessive projects based in Hebden Bridge, England. My work involves the accretion of large numbers of small objects - pins in fabric, knots in string or hundreds of envelopes - to make sculptures that deal with fragility, loss, repetition, obsession and time.

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